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Davos 2020: shaping the future of consumption

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eBusiness Institute Team

While our CEO, Luigi Matrone, is participating in Davos 2020, we want to share some of the great content coming out of the sessions taking place under the theme ‘Better Business’, such as ‘Shaping the future of consumption’.

The ‘Shaping the future of consumption’ session was a strategic review of the industries, institutions and initiatives driving systemic change.

Heavy hitters on the panel

Moderated by Punit Renjen, Global CEO of Deloitte Global, ‘Shaping the future of consumption’ debated the changing role of the consumption industry and shared best practices for outcome-based consumer products[1].

Key speakers included some of the best-known and most respected figures in global retail, including:

Davos 2020: shaping the future of consumption 1
(From left to right) Punit Renjen (Deloitte Global CEO), Judith McKenna (Walmart President & CEO), Xu Lei (JD Retail CEO), Carlos Brito (Anheuser-Busch InBev NV CEO) and Jeffrey Lu (Mengniu Group CEO) on the panel for ‘Shaping the Future of Consumption’


Businesses tackling critical world challenges

A challenge handled particularly adroitly by the panel (especially by Judith McKenna, President and CEO of Walmart), was: “What role will businesses play in addressing climate change, economic equality and the health and wellbeing of consumers?”.

As eBusiness Institute has done – particularly when discussing the rising popularity of mobile shopping and eCommerce trends coming from China – the panel looked at how new technology is helping retail businesses meet growing consumer expectations.

This is especially important in relation to consumer convenience and the demand from consumers to be able to do things like grocery shopping quickly (for instance, online and ultimately on their mobile devices), so that they have more time to do the things they enjoy.

As Xu Lei, CEO of JD Retail, pointed out, 38 percent of the Chinese population now shop online. He also predicted that new technologies like 5G will impact upon eCommerce so profoundly that businesses which do not keep pace through digital transformation or embrace the omnichannel simply won’t be able to compete because they will not be able to reach customers in traditional ways.

Consumer choice disrupting retail

Consumers are also expecting retailers and the brands they work with to connect with their own personal values around issues like sustainability and ethical sourcing or packaging.

Thanks in no small part to the groundswell of support that has built up behind climate change activist Greta Thunberg, sustainable living is now high on the agendas of everyday consumers.

Shaping the Future of Consumption Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg has told world leaders at Davos 2020 that nothing has really been done to tackle climate change, despite the warnings from scientists


Consumer choice has the power to disrupt industries, not least one like retail, where transport, packaging and ethical sourcing of products have such a huge part to play[2].

And technology is allowing retail businesses to get closer to those values and understand them more fully.

The panel highlighted the huge rise in popularity of veganism (to which you can also add ‘flexitarianism’)[3]. Food producers, brands and retailers should see these ‘movements’ as fantastic long-term growth opportunities rather than as short-term fads or threats.

Adapting to a changing landscape

eBusiness Institute is proven to be a leader in helping companies adapt to change in order to remain relevant and competitive in the long-run.

The Smart Consumer
eBusiness Institute helps businesses adapt to and thrive in an ever-changing retail landscape
Image source: eBusiness Institute


Our CEO Luigi Matrone was, for instance, invited by consumer packaged goods giant Tetra Pak to deliver a keynote speech sharing expert insights on how the industry is changing.

His stand-out thought leadership in 2019 also included the disruption caused by consumer-driven trends, how the Subscription Economy is transforming consumer behaviours and why it takes great content to create a great Shopper Experience.

Additionally, our experts, Mert Bürian and Yannis Boukas, delivered a presentation to some of the world’s biggest brands that covered the evolution of the consumer journey, the way the Retailer Landscape is changing and how we help brands select the best strategic retail partners.

As eCommerce and eBusiness experts at the leading edge of change, eBusiness Institute delivers a range of consultancy services closely related to these topics – from retailer segmentation to data & analytics, and from digital transformation to Product eContent – in order to help our clients prepare for change and future success.

This article was written and created by the eBusiness Institute Team.

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[1] https://www2.deloitte.com

[2] https://www.weforum.org/platforms/shaping-the-future-of-consumption

[3] https://www.definitionagency.com/news/2020/01/food-for-thought-what-will-the-food-and-drink-industry-look-like-in-a-decade/

[4] https://www.unilever.com/news/press-releases/2017/report-shows-a-third-of-consumers-prefer-sustainable-brands.html


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